Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ubuntu Upgrade

Yesterday and today, I 've spent a lot of time installing Ubuntu 9.10.

First off, my son George's PC died. Well, I probably could have struggled to fix it, replacing the hard drive but that would have been a lot of effort. So we headed over to Micro Center and got a refurbished PC for $250. This refurbished PC is now the most powerful one in the house; 320G hdd, 3Gb RAM, dual core amd64, Nvidia, blah, blah, blah. No other PC in the house comes close to it.

It came with windows on it but uninstalled, or not set up. So powering it on and getting windows set up took about an hour I would guess. Maybe a litt le less. Of course, the Neohawk household doesn't use windows, so I downloaded Ubuntu. Not Kubuntu this time. Popped in the cd and installed Ubuntu. All I can say is wow. It was dead easy and took an hour, but like windows probably less. In both cases, I wasn't really paying attention to how long it took and was pleasantly surprised how quick it was.

I had only two real issues. The first issue was I wanted to place the /home directory on a separate partition, and also wanted to resize the windows partition. With the GUI I couldn't tell how to do that and didn't want to screw anything up so I just installed it. The second issue was getting the wireless configuration to work. This probably had less to do with Ubuntu itself than the fact that I was using Ubuntu's wireless interface for the first time and the fact that the wireless signal is weak in my son's room.

Other than that though, the Ubuntu install was flawless and easy.

Interestingly enough, my son took a look at it and said, "Where's KDE?" . So I did a "sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop". Now this took quite a while. Mosty because of the weak wireless signal it took forever to download the necessary files. Once that was done, though, it went off with out a hitch. My son is ecstatic now that he can get back to creating his game maps.

Laptop Leap

So based on that really pleasant experience, I decided to take the plunge with my laptop. I have yet successfully "upgrade" with Kubuntu, but thought I'd give it a chance. #FAIL. Yet again, the upgrade did not work. Then again I did not try very hard either. Once I hit problems, I just decided to do a clean install. Luckily for me, my laptop already has the windows partition size the way I want it, and my /home directory is on a separate partition. So all I had to do was install Ubuntu 9.10 to the right partition and away we went. I got up late this morning, about 7:45. It's only 9:30 and I've been done with the upgrade for about an hour.

Similar to my son, I'm a KDE person, so I ran 'apt-get install kubuntu-desktop' as well in that time frame. It is also how I know that it was the wireless connection in my son's room that was slow. My laptop is hardwired and the download of Kubuntu files was relatively fast.

I read somewhere that somebody recommended to the Ubuntu/Kubuntu folks to make the /home directory a separate partition the default setting. +1. I wholeheartedly concur with this. My experience is that the upgrades never go well, and that a clean install is always smooth. (note, that's my experience). The only painful part if the /home directory is not separate is backing it up, moving it somewhere, and returning it when the install is done.

Other than that though, I was really impressed with the ease of the install. Particularly on my son's pc which went really fast. Nice hardware helps I guess. ;-)

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